"Life is the dancer and you are the dance."
Eckhart Tolle

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Motels made of Feathers" NaPoWriMo #5

A perfect line is drawn
between fine edges with details.
High-rise images are six inch heels
where kittens don’t venture
without boas wrapping around them tightly.
It’s a pump that sucks life from you
as it returns fetid, rancid or abused air.
Spikes lay at your bedpost,
fans are scattered all about
florets burrow holes in your chest cavity,
soaking up time, furnishing blood through crude canals.

I am watching from a distant corner
where feather-foil lays on stilettos,
crushed underfoot and worn into the carpet
with cigarette burns left behind,
like the trash strewn about in your life.
They have taken out all air conditioning units, 
replacing them with old dusty golden coins
to be deposited at a local arcade resting easy …
no-one will ever win a trophy.

Process notes:
Write about feathers and stilettos (but no person can be wearing them).

Before moving South of the Border, I thought that there was no difference between a motel and a hotel, except the latter being fancier and more expensive. So when we stopped to spend the night at a motel in the northern part of Mexico, my husband explained the difference. I am sure the proprietor was grateful for our money, generally the rooms are rented by the hour. This poem came to fruition from that experience, the room though clean and tidy, it had an underlying film that existed, unexplainable, it was simply there.


  1. Lovely description, the process notes put this into perspective for me.I can almost taste the place on this third reading - 'It's a pump that sucks life from you as it returns fetid, rancid or abused air.'

  2. I saw this prompt & thought, "Um,no"; but now have read your marvelous response and think, "Ahhhhhh...YES!" well done.

  3. This is powerful writing. I can't say that it is beautiful, because it arouses distinct antipathetic emotions - so, I think you have achieved what you set out to do.

  4. Motel, aka short-time hotel - I've heard of them...

  5. Strong images that leave a taste, as you intended.

  6. Well written, Pamela. The underlying film is intact. Ew. I love the lines...where kittens don't venture, without boas wrapping around them tightly... Some motel rooms leave us wanting our sleeping bags. ;)

  7. Absolutely brilliant, Pamela! Every sentence is seething with strong images! You have so much power in your words!

  8. Powerful, evocative, and extremely visual. Oh Pamela, love the journey you are on. The details here are fantastic, and obviously felt deeply by all. Brava!


  9. Yes... energy remains to tell the tale, light or dark.
    Here's mine for today:

  10. Pamela - what a brilliant, desolate, apt description. In your poem, no one wins a trophy, but your work here would merit one.

  11. Pamela, startlingly detailed. The premise as explained afterward was helpful, but the imagery is so vivid, and your use of the word "feather-foil" (I assume the kind from cig packs or chewing gum) was effective. Publish it.

  12. great write to a seemingly impossible prompt.

  13. The phrase "abused air" keeps calling to me. I just like that image, and I think it is apt for the feeling of this poem as well.

  14. I believe the process notes were essential to explain, Andy.

  15. Ron, honestly I had no idea I would go in this direction with the prompt.

  16. Viv, those motels don't arouse thoughts of beauty.

  17. And not a very good one either, Tilly.

  18. Elizabeth, I feel as if, I may get lost before it is all over.

  19. Yes Kim, so very true, energy is always left behind, light or dark.

  20. To rent a motel room by the hour was a foreign concept for me, RJ.

  21. In fact Amy, it is an aquatic plant, it simply seemed to fit, thanks.

  22. That was the feeling I got, Mr. Walker.